Eastbank COE

Our Casita at Eastbank COE

Our Casita at Eastbank COE

Casita at sunset

Casita at sunset

We’re at beautiful Eastbank COE campground on the Georgia/Florida border.  There is not much to do except fishing and a couple of short trails.  But soaking in the beauty is a full-time job!  It’s a quiet, heavenly place to relax.  It’s also only $11 a day with our senior pass.  We’ve spent much of the day reading, doing crosswords and walking Sheba. And admiring the lake view from our door and all of the windows.

We are also having to make sure everything that touches the ground is sprayed with bug spray.  There are tiny ants everywhere.

Coots at sunset

Coots at sunset

Sheba has been more combative when other dogs are walked by our site than usual.  I’m guessing she’s getting tired of having to be tied up all the time. And little Sunny is exhibiting symptoms similar to an elderly person with Alzheimers.  It’s stressful for him and for us.

These sunset photos are all unretouched.  The colors were more magnificent than my camera could show.  And if I had retouched them to make them match the splendor my eyes saw, no one would believe it anyway!

Cypress tree surrounded by cypress knees

Cypress tree surrounded by cypress knees

The coots are so numerous here that it is startling.  At first we thought they were trash floating on the water.  Then we realized they were coots.  There are hundreds of them.

We plan to go to Bainbridge tomorrow to shop and look around.

And Wayne, we haven’t seen an alligator, but with all those coots out there, they probably do just fine without ever coming ashore!  🙂

Sunset 1 of 3

Sunset 1 of 3

Sunset 2 of 3

Sunset 2 of 3

Sunset 3 of 3

Sunset 3 of 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a

Camping Again!

Sheba, a sweet, happy camper

Sheba, a sweet, happy camper

Another cold front!  Actually, it’s low 80’s with a great breeze, but that is cool for our area.  So we headed to nearby McKinney Campground on Lake Allatoona.

Our site over the lake

Our site over the lake

We’ve camped at this campground before, but not at this end.  When we were here before, a maintenance man told us that in summer it’s a lot cooler on “the point” due to the breezes.  He was right.  It’s lovely here!

We heard on the news that someone drowned here last weekend.  We didn’t hear whether it was an adult or child.

On our picture-taking walk this afternoon, we did not find a single flower.  Everything is varying shades of green.  But as always, I’m hoping to find mushrooms.  We’ll see!

Ron with Sheba rolling in the grass by one of the little swimming beaches.

Ron with Sheba rolling in the grass by one of the little swimming beaches.

Little Sunny had to stay in the trailer while we walked.  He simply can’t make it that far anymore.

I’m adding a flower picture that I posted in my last entry from Coleman Lake.  It is a little flower that got lost on the page.  So I removed the surrounding vegetation and am posting it full size so you can see the glory of it.  What a beautiful creation!

Exquisite!

Exquisite!

 

 

Watson’s Mill Covered Bridge

Watson's Mill Bridge

Watson’s Mill Bridge

The bridge is still used by vehicular traffic.  The vertical clearance is 9'.

The bridge is still used by vehicular traffic. The vertical clearance is 9′.

Today Peggy and I took the trail from the campground to the covered bridge.  Although they have 7 miles of trails, it was only 3/4 to the bridge.  But it was narrow, steep and rugged in places.

I was delighted to realize I could do it without getting winded.  My recovery after quitting smoking last September is phenomenal! We did cheat and take the road walk back to the campground to avoid tripping on roots, though.

Bridge interior

Bridge interior

We could not have ordered more beautiful weather.  Warm, sunny, gorgeous, with a gentle, refreshing breeze and low humidity!  Spring at its very best.

I took tons of pictures of Peggy’s cute little 17′ Apex trailer.  She has done a beautiful job personalizing and decorating it.

I’ll post those pictures tomorrow.

closeup of joining pegs

Closeup of wooden joining pins

 

Peggy on trail bridge

Peggy on trail bridge

rugged narrow trail

Along the trail

 

Smooth, scenic trail near the old gristmill site

Smooth, scenic trail near the old gristmill site

Coleman Lake, the Pinhoti & the Beach

There are several trails in the  area including hiking and horse trails.

There are several trails in the area including hiking and horse trails.

We plan to leave for Coleman Lake tomorrow.  Since there is no cell service there, I thought I’d post a preview, and will update the blog when we are back in civilization again.

The main activities in the area are birding, camping, hiking and horseback riding.  There’s a primitive horse camp not far from the Coleman Lake campground.  I’m not sure about the fishing.  But when we were there a few years back, one family went frog gigging and harvested 17 big frogs that night.

Coleman Lake swimming beach

Coleman Lake swimming beach

For me, the main attraction is mushroom hunting.  There’s a tremendous variety of habitats from dry hardwood hills to primeval-looking swamps covered in fern.  I’m sure I won’t be able to identify most of the ones I find, but I sure will have fun trying!

For long distance hikers, the close proximity of the 335 mile Pinhoti Trail should be of interest.  It ties in with the Benton McKaye and Appalachian Trails and is part of the Eastern Continental and the Great Eastern Trails.

Gulf State Park right on the Gulf.

Gulf State Park right on the Gulf.

After that, we’re planning to head for the beach the latter part of April.  I changed my mind about the Mississippi beaches when I read that the water is brown and muddy like it is at Galveston.  So now the plan is to go to Gulf State Park in Alabama.

It has excellent reviews.  The water won’t be as clear as it was at Ft. Pickens, but it should still be nice there.  And I’m pretty sure our dogs will be allowed to walk on the beach with us.

So it looks like I will finally, finally, break free of the winter-weary cabin fever blues and go camping!

Record Cold Here in Georgia

Atlanta's temperature at noon was 64.  Ours was 63.

Atlanta’s temperature at noon was 64. Ours was 63.

Our weather is amazing.  It’s mid-August in Georgia and I am wearing long sleeves and fuzzy socks!  I don’t know what this means in the grand scheme of things, but it feels like a wonderful gift today!

Of course, it’s also raining.  But it’s a light sprinkle.

I’m feeling better, so am going to give myself the rest of the weekend to recuperate.  Monday I’ll go down to Home Depot and get some drywall tools so I can start on the bathroom.  I want to scrape the popcorn ceiling down to the drywall before I start on the floor.

I’ve been watching lots of YouTube videos on how to do the things I’ll need to do.  What an amazing resource.  You really can learn anything you want to know on the net.

I plan to take it VERY slow on this project.  Maybe weeks.  That way I can physically handle it.  I’ll buy supplies as I can afford them.  And it will take the pressure off me if I know I can piddle on it at my own pace.  So I probably won’t do blow-by-blow updates on my blog.  I may just wait till it’s finished and put up before and after photos.  🙂

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

At Lake Blackshear

Peaceful!  I needed this!

Peaceful! I needed this!

When we are headed home to visit family, our route rarely varies.  We make a beeline via the interstate, and usually stop at one of three state parks on the way down, depending on what time we leave home and how far we feel like driving.

Our campsite

Our campsite

We’re at Georgia Veterans State Park tonight, after driving 4-1/2 hours.  It feels SO good to be back in our little Casita and on the road again.  This evening is the first time I have felt truly relaxed in a very long time.  Kind of like where I belong.  🙂

We plan to visit Mom for 3 or 4 days, then head to Ann’s house for a few more days.  Then we want to head toward West Florida instead of Central Florida this time.  Hopefully we’ll be able to camp for a few days at Ft. Pickens and in the surrounding areas.  Then we’ll probably go back via Alabama and maybe camp at a COE camp on the Alabama side of the Alabama/GA border.

There are wildflowers blooming here!  :)

There are wildflowers blooming here! 🙂

Right now our plans are written in Jello… just the way I like them!

And other signs of spring!

And other signs of spring!

Sheba sees a squirrel.

Sheba sees a squirrel.

Best buddies

Best buddies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Slice of Heaven

Cotton Hill campsite #58

“You got any pretty sites left?” I asked the gate attendant when we pulled into Cotton Hill COE.

View from our site

“A few,” he smiled.  “How many days are you staying?”

“Seven,” I answered.

“Oooooh, that cuts it way down.  Let’s see, I’ve got 6 and 58.  58 is in the Marina View loop, and it has the best view in the campground.  You can take a look at both of them if you’d like.”

“No, we’ll take 58!” I replied, figuring he knew what he was talking about.

View of the marina from our site

He wasn’t lying.  Our site is gorgeous.

I was a little surprised that the lake wasn’t wider.  I’m used to the Georgia COE’s having huge expanses of water.  But there is something indefinably special about this place.

Instead of putting up both sections of the dog pen, we only put up one.  And since we couldn’t stake it down in the gravel, I bungied it to the trailer tongue and step and reinforced it with a couple of other bungees.  It works!  And both Sunny and Sheba have been wonderful about staying in it without barking.  I am impressed with how well they are behaving.

There’s a playground to our right.

Sheba has not had the first potty accident in the trailer, so I am almost ready to declare her housebroken.  At least it appears she is Casita-broken!  🙂

And she is really loving the water  here!

Sunny waiting for Mom while Sheba is already down the bank and in the water

Sheba in the water

Bungeed dog pen

Egret

Fuzzy heron photo

Spanish Moss

Spanish moss at Eagle’s Roost

As usual, we left Mom’s house late — after lunch.

The Casita at Eagle’s Roost

We were hot and tired, and wanted to do as little driving today as possible.  So we crossed the Georgia line and stopped at the Eagle’s Roost RV Park, one of our favorite overnight stops.

Besides being a beautiful, clean park, the profusion of Spanish moss lends an aura of timeless peace.  I first remember seeing Spanish moss when I was a little girl in Green Cove Springs, Florida.  Then we moved to the beach and I don’t remember seeing it there.  It must not like salt air.

Spanish moss closeup

Spanish moss is not a true moss, and it is not a parasite.  It gets its moisture and nutrients from the air.  It can, however, cover a tree to the point that the tree becomes unable to produce enough food through photosynthesis.  And sometimes it can get so heavy that it can cause branches to break off the tree.  But to me, it’s a beautiful, mysterious part of the essence of the Deep South.

Eagle sculpture entitled “The Nest”

I also noticed the Eagle sculpture for the first time this visit.

There’s only so much I can say about Spanish moss, so I’ll just post pictures that I took today.

Tomorrow we plan to visit Ron’s brother in a nursing home near here.  Then we’ll head to Cotton Hill COE campground on Walter F. George Lake on the Georgia/Alabama line.

It’s a new campground for us, so we’re looking forward to spending several days there.

Curtain of Spanish moss

Spanish moss in sunlight

Spanish moss on tree

Veil of Spanish moss

Bird hotel

Checking the hotel out?

Old Stumps on the Trail

Bend in the trail

 

Warning!  This post will be incredibly boring unless you are a hard core nature lover.  And maybe even if you are!

We went for another LONG walk today.  Aside from being a little achy, I feel more relaxed and stress-free than I have in a long time.

Rather than try to say something fascinating about a walk in brown Georgia woods in the winter, I’ll just post photos of things that intrigued me.

Fern

Ferns on fallen log

Half-eaten wild ginger leaves

Wild ginger leaf

This old stump looked like some kind of mythical sea creature to me

Convoluted tree base

Odd stump

Graceful old stump

Twin trees

Two more twin trees. They were everywhere. I've never seen so many anyplace else.

See-through tree. It had an eerie look to it.

Winged branches

 

 

Cold, windy day at Indian Springs State Park

Ron and Sunny near the spring house

Today was chilly with cold wind, so we didn’t spend a lot of time outside.

We did get out and look around the park.  There is much history here, but I’m not energetic enough to type it all out this evening.  The stone buildings, as is common in state parks in the region, were built by the CCC under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The swimming and boating areas are beautiful.  Picnic shelters and areas are very

The spring house

The spring itself with a whopping 1 gallon per minute output 🙂

Swimming/boating area

Picnic tables near the spring

One of the picnic pavilions

Playground near the swimming beach

More of the stone buildings built by the CCC

attractive, and there is a nice playground for children, as well as miniature golf and a museum in season.  Unfortunately, it’s not in season now.  🙂

The spring, touted (and marketed) in the past as having medicinal powers, puts out an underwhelming one gallon per minute year round.  Even so, in the early 1820’s, the area grew into a resort community.

An illegal treaty that dispossessed the Creek Indians of their Georgia lands was signed here, as was a later legal treaty.

According to park literature, the mineral spring has been open to the public since 1825, making it the oldest state park in the nation.  But there is also a warning in the brochure that the water is not potable!

 

 

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